Posted by: tootingtrumpet | May 19, 2009

England vs West Indies – Not the Second Test Report Card

thanksgiving-feastA Test Match is a feast with many courses, good service and engaging company, which leaves the diner replete and looking forward to a break from such sumptuous fare before the appetite is sharpened and one is ready for the banqueting hall once more.

But this Test Match was not so much a feast as cold rice pudding, served by uninterested waiters from a cauldron sitting atop a stove fuelled by burning five pound notes. It was a caricature of sport in which one team were keen to win, the other keen to finish. A Report Card would be too monotonous, so the Trumpet instead reflects on what few themes emerged from this sorry affair.

May – Not a month in which Test Cricket captivates the spectator, at the ground or watching television. Sky cannot market its product if acres of seats are empty and cricket appears in the news some time after pictures of Ryan Giggs’ kids walking around Old Trafford (the football ground, not the music venue).

Leadership – England were well led by a team director and captain who are prepared to let players think and act for themselves, relax into their roles and ruthlessly exploit opposition weaknesses. England put away the West Indies every bit as professionally as Australia put away England in Melbourne and Sydney. From that, England can take heart. The West Indies were not led by captain, coach nor Board.

The Ashes – Looming over the Tests were the next appointment on the Test Match calendar- one of which readers will be aware. How relevant proceedings at Chester-le-Street are to High Summer’s High Noon is hard to discern, but England will take heart from Cook’s runs, Ravi’s assuredness, Broad’s hostility, Jimmy’s craft, Swanny’s combativeness and Onions’ potential. 

In every sense, the real Tests are in July. Bring plenty of cutlery.

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